Recent visitors to my blog PoliticusUSA had undoubtedly noticed that the site had been crashing frequently. At first both tech support and myself thought a new server was the cause, but the real cause was much more sinister. We were the victims of a sophisticated DDoS attack. Since the far right did not like what we were publishing, they decided you should not be able to read it. This is what passes for freedom in “Real America.”
There were several hints that this was politically motivated event before the perpetrator grew bold enough to contact me. First, the DDoS attacks only came after we published new content to the site. The bots used were masked as legitimate traffic from a social network. When new content was not published, the site didn’t go down. It is logical to conclude that the attacker either subscribed to our RSS feed, or is a member of certain social networks, because the time line of the attacks matches up with the popularity of posts from this site submitted to major social networks Digg, Reddit, and Facebook.
I would love nothing more that to publish the emails I received from whoever is responsible for this in full right now, but this matter is being investigated, so I can’t. (As anyone who knows about DDoS attacks understands, the odds of catching those who did this are slim, but I still have to respect the investigation). After we had two popular stories at the same time on several social networks a full on assault began early on Easter Sunday, that took the site completely offline. Like any terrorist, the person or persons behind the attack took responsibility for it and told me it was because they didn’t like what we published.
The point of this attack was to suppress my ability to share information with you. This is not only a violation of my right to free speech, but yours as well. This was an act of political terrorism. It was the Internet equivalent of the raging mob smashing the printing press of a town’s newspaper, because they could not accept facts or a differing point of view, and the suppression of the exchange of information is a classic hallmark of fascist and totalitarian behavior.
The true fascists in the United States of America aren’t Barack Obama and the Democrats, but Sarah Palin, Tea Partiers, and right wing Republicans who pander to them. The mission of these attackers was not to disrupt PoliticusUSA, but to shut it down, and shut us up. In this regard, the cyber terrorists have completely failed, because we are still writing, and this website is still here. As long I have a breath in my body, this site will continue to publish. PoliticusUSA will never back down from challenges, and let me put this in terms that the right wingers can understand. As Ronald Reagan once said, “We don’t negotiate with terrorist.” (Reagan was actually a hypocrite who did, but I never will).
Lastly, I want to assure our readers that they are completely safe when they visit the site. The type of attack carried out targeted our server, not the reader. The point of the attack was to prevent people from being able to view the site. I can assure everyone who enjoys this site that we are not going to change. We are going to double our efforts and keep doing what we do. The cyber terrorists have strengthened us, and with your continued support we will prove that fear and intimidation will never be victorious over hope, the truth, optimism, and freedom.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association